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to want to close my bank account after this gross invasion of privacy?

(368 Posts)
somanymiles Thu 02-Jan-14 11:49:26

I went to get cash out of my bank account this morning to pay the builders (£6,000) and was told I could not take that amount out without hard copy proof of what I was spending the money on eg an invoice. I was given no notice of this so of course did not have anything except a quote on my phone which they did not accept, even though I offered to email it to them. This was not a question of confirming my identity- it was that they have a new policy where you gave to prove what you are spending your cash on. When I asked what the threshold was for the new policy I was told they were not allowed to tell me. I am furious. Surely what I spend my money on us nobodies business but mine. It certainly isn't HSBC's business.I am thinking of closing my accounts there with all the hassle that will entail. AIBU?

PacificDogwood Thu 02-Jan-14 12:06:11

I know the limit used to be 10.000Euro - and yes, this applied to cash withdrawals.

hellsbells99 Thu 02-Jan-14 12:06:35

It is to do with money laundering regulations but the threshold is officially 15,000 euros for needing all the info. For saying that we have to ask for copies of passports and ID in our business although we don't directly deal with money above this figure.
All businesses are very keen on abiding by the rules (and over and above) as it would cost us dearly if we were caught out.

NotQuiteCockney Thu 02-Jan-14 12:09:16

But withdrawing money isn't useful for money laundering - it's only big deposits that would matter, surely?

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Thu 02-Jan-14 12:09:33

That and the Post Office now want to know what's in the parcel you are posting.

It's so the government can keep tracks on you wink

Seriously though, these new laws are merely eroding away any sense of privacy we may have once had. What is more worrying is how it's all just readily accepted.

Binnky Thu 02-Jan-14 12:10:13

Certainly doesn't constitute a "gross invasion of privacy" so yabu.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 02-Jan-14 12:11:17

Agree it's money laundering. The government are obsessed with it at the moment. I work for an insurance company and (along with every other member of staff) have to go on an annual course about it. And I am not customer facing. I have also been told about the unlimited fine and possible jail.

Also I think the standard for prosecution is if "a reasonable person" would be suspicious. Which always worries me. How clever is the "reasonable person"? What if I am a bit naive and don't realise.

phantomnamechanger Thu 02-Jan-14 12:12:03

I think this is well off, I would not be expecting to justify what I was doing with my own money. I might say we were out of firelighters and needed some small bits of paper for lighting the fire!

smalltalk along the lines of "oh, are you going to the sales to spoil yourself" is one thing , and you would still be entitled to be surprised/not answer

phantomnamechanger Thu 02-Jan-14 12:14:07

postoffice asking about parcel contents is a pain too - I can see why they want to know it if is valuable and restrict sending liquids etc in the post but HOW are they to know whether what you SAY is scented hankies for auntie jean is in fact a parcel of drugs??

HoHoHopelessAtNamingBabies Thu 02-Jan-14 12:15:22

£6k in cash to builders seems a lot. Not HSBC's business but perhaps HMRC's? We've had a lot of huisliding work done and had to pay the odd £100 here and there for materials but everything else through transfers.

Sorry - but off topic I know...

Caitlin17 Thu 02-Jan-14 12:15:39

Yes as others have said, it's money laundering rules and it is the bank's business. If you came into my office to pay a fee or money which was due to clients of mine we wouldn't accept that amount of cash without a very convincing explanation of why it wasn't coming by cheque or bank transfer.

Whether or not the explanation was convincing I am bound to report it to our money laundering officer. If he wasn't convinced I couldn't accept the cash. He might also decide he has to report it to the police , neither I nor the person coming in with the money will be told if he does so. Seriously if you work in any of the controlled industries this is something which is drummed into you.

The teller will have been told to ask why such a large amount is needed in cash.

Misspixietrix Thu 02-Jan-14 12:16:07

HSBC are twats. They recently closed my DMs account down whilst she was in ICU. Apparently they were 'no available funds to pay a £30 direct debit'. When I eventually recovered the money. She actually had more than double that in. They used the excuse that she had breached her T&Cs for the 3rd time she hadn't. The first two times is because their staff didn't know how to successfully set up a DD!! Not her fault at all. Needless to say. They've been reported. I would suggest you do the same OP. They hold your money they don't have say over what you can spend it on. Give them notice in writing that they are witholding your money and you wish to have it within x amount of hours/days? Could you not make an appointment with the Bank Manager and tell them how absurd they are?

specialsubject Thu 02-Jan-14 12:17:53

I understand your anger - but why do you need to carry all that cash around? Give the builders a cheque.

if they won't accept a cheque, ask why... they know where you live after all so you can't do a runner!

Misspixietrix Thu 02-Jan-14 12:19:03

Caitlin would you be able to hand 6k over even if you before reporting to the money laundering team? Or would you have to make excuses and inform them straight away? I've took 5k out of Halifax before without an issue. Childcare and Rent was the only reason I gave when at university.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 02-Jan-14 12:20:16

Is this on the basis that they're expecting someone to say "I'm laundering money" or "it's to pay for my next drug deal/racketeering payment/cache of weapons"????!!!

Any suspicion of laundering money must be reported to the police or the individual as well as the organisation are criminally liable - asking for written proof of what you want to spend your own money on is not going to help one iota.

I paid my builder in cash sometimes - it's how he dealt with some suppliers and sub-contractors (I have invoices for all payments proving we paid VAT on everything).

If you say you're not going to disclose will they withhold your own money from you?!!

I did have to wait almost an hour for the local branch manager to finish their lunch once as I was trying to withdraw £10k and there was no-one senior enough to sign it off.

Yes - close your accounts, HSBC (also own First Direct) are known for their gender discrimination against women when evaluating mortgages - take as much business away from them as possible.

Misspixietrix Thu 02-Jan-14 12:20:38

special I don't know whereabouts the OP is but most businesses around me won't accept cheques at all now. Maybe its a part payment the builders need to buy more materials for the job they are doing for the OP?

PrincessFlirtyPants Thu 02-Jan-14 12:20:59

I was a cashier in a high street bank when I was younger. Their policy was that if the withdrawal was over £1000 I had to ask what they were spending the money on. I once had someone say "drugs, seriously I want you to write down that I'm spending the money on drugs"

nauticant Thu 02-Jan-14 12:22:26

ha ha ha ha

Caitlin17 Thu 02-Jan-14 12:22:28

Misspixie the teller was not being a twat nor is the bank. If anyone in the regulated sector has a suspicion of ML activities they have to do something about it. Ignoring things isn't an option. £6000 in cash to pay builders is tbh questionable.

glastocat Thu 02-Jan-14 12:24:15

It's money laundering regs, but that's a lot lower than the limit ( 13000 euro last time I did my money laundering training).

PacificDogwood Thu 02-Jan-14 12:24:15

It's just as pointless as somebody asking you at the airport whether you have any explosives in your luggage hmm.

Gruntfuttock Thu 02-Jan-14 12:25:25

The last time (sadly only recently) we had to pay a tradesman several thousand pounds, we simply asked for their bank details (sort code and account no.) and transferred the money from ours online. Much better than withdrawing thousands in cash. No wonder the bank had questions.

Misspixietrix Thu 02-Jan-14 12:26:00

Quite Not. One once said to me "oh your account is quite busy". Me "yes I think you will find that is because I am". smile

Knotter Thu 02-Jan-14 12:28:04

Don't understand how money laundering applies on withdrawing money, surely the question is more relevant on paying large cash sums in? If you're withdrawing the money from your own account, they know where it has been?? Paying cash in hand for something is of more interest to HMRC, would the cashier note the supplier name and report to HMRC?

Caitlin17 Thu 02-Jan-14 12:28:54

Misspixie if someone came in with that amount of money,even if she was already a client, I couldn't accept it unless I had clearance from the MLO so anyone turning up with it would be turned away. The cash sum we can accept is tiny.I can't recall offhand but it might be as low as £10.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 02-Jan-14 12:29:04


As many have said, it's related to money laundering regs.

It's not that you wanted £6,000 it's that you wanted it in cash. Which sounds odd when one doesn't know why.

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